Starting out with a *Bang*

I've always been one to jump at trying new things and one long Texas summer's morning last year, a wayward conversation put me in touch with the VP of the local cowboy mounted shooting association club, The Lonestar Regulators. A few phone calls later and we ('we' being me and anyone I could coerce into coming along, in this case, my gun-crazy 10yo son) were hyped for our first practice session.

I leaned on my dad, a long-time gun fanatic, to let me bring a series of mares up the hill to his place and see which ones would tolerate the guns. We tried several mares and one of the young stallions and picked out the couple that we thought would least likely embarrass us in front of strangers. The practice went well and we're looking forward to our first competitions in a few months.

That's me in the photo, on DB RAFIAMA, a 22yo BLUE STAR 'Straight Desert' Abayyah.

A couple of things have surprised me as we've started in the sport. The first was the shocking realization that, as a competent shooter and rider, my thumb was the limiting factor in the game. It simply wouldn't work well enough (quick enough) to draw back the hammer on the single action .45 for me to shoot the balloons as the mare took me past them.

The other thing that had me scratching my head a little is our young stallion GWAIHIR. He was initially tolerant of the guns, then decided he wasn't going to put up with my silliness and we had to work through some stuff. He has come around and is accepting of me shooting from the saddle, but he's still getting upset - I think over the smoke when it blows back on us from the right front. He has a severe corneal scar over most of his right eye and has limited vision to the front on that side. I'm not sure if it's the heat of it or the smell but I think it's surprising him on the few occasions that it blows over us from his blind spot. I'm confident it's something that time and experience will overcome, but for now it's something that we're still working with.


Cathy said...

What about trying a blinder over his mostly blind eye? Glad you are blogging... tho snickering about you description "ladies" instead of "female heroes".

Becky Burkheart said...

LOL! about the 'ladies' comment. You know my heroines don't take well to sitting around and sipping tea. :)

I've thought about it, but I haven't tried riding him with a blinder. It might be a good idea. I have found it interesting, as hard as we worked to save that eye, that having partial vision does seem to be more difficult on them than being completely blind on one side. Remember QADIFAN was already missing an eye when I got him in '98, just halter broke, and I didn't have any problems training and riding him. It was something to be aware of, for example: he bumped into a truck one time that had come up behind him while he stood still, but it was never a real problem.

wouldn't GWAIHIR look cute with an eye-patch? Argh-matey!

Anonymous said...

Your blog looks great!!! Steven finally set up my blog on depthsofperil, but I haven't played with it yet. I'll add your link soon. :-)


Cathy said...

Yes, I noticed that about a one eyed mare I had - she had the worst time before the vision was gone. And after, back to her usual sweet self. A eye-patch would be perfect for you both. ;-)